Formula 1 has announced it will be holding a race in Las Vegas from next season, in a move bosses hope will help bring some more glitz and glamour to the sport – along with a nice heap of cash. However, as has been proven in the past, a Grand Prix in Sin City is not a guaranteed success.
The 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix will not be the first time the sport has been to Nevadan city. Two races have been held in the past, and F1 chiefs will be hoping that the reincarnation will have a lot more success than the previous botched attempts.
After all, a race in Las Vegas lasted for just two years – 1981 and 1982 – before it was scrapped. It’s not hard to imagine why, considering the venue was the car park of the famous Caesars Palace hotel.
The track itself was rather short, just 2.3 miles in length, and was heavily criticised for being repetitive and simply boring. It seems organisers have learned from that, as the updated version of the track will be a mile and a half longer and take in many of the city’s most famous sites, including a long sprint up the Las Vegas Strip.
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Other issues with the venue in those earlier races included a pitlane which mechanics felt was too dangerous because it was so narrow. They also didn’t like that there were no garages, so they had to do all their work out in the open in the baking temperatures.
So drivers and mechanics hated it, but what about the fans? It seemed they had similar feelings about the whole affair, as attendance figures were shocking – indicative of the trouble the sport had in appealing to the US market.
It was scrapped after that second race in 1982, and has waited for 40 years to be brought back to the calendar. Hopefully this time it will be a much more enjoyable event for all, with the locals likely to be much more welcoming after the traction F1 has gained Stateside in recent years.